Party Time

When I was in school, one of my biggest worries was being called-on by the teacher. I was always one of the quietest students in class — and I preferred to keep it that way. I’ll pay attention, do the work, take the tests — but otherwise leave me alone. I much prefer passive-observation to audience-participation.

I suppose I’ve always felt like a spectator that fears he’ll be called upon to contribute. “Excuse me, sir! Yes you!” Gah…. And some people think they’re doing you a favor by being inclusive. Umm, NO THANKS! I suppose that’s a primary reason I tend to remain isolated, I don’t want outsiders encroaching on my personal space.

If I analyze it though, I can’t immediately recall any incidents where being called-on was brutally unpleasant. I guess it was mostly the annoyance of having my quietude interrupted. I think this probably lends evidence to the idea that I tend to take life way too seriously. How dare you disturb my stillness! No ripples!

But I think it also has to do with my intense focus. I can’t task-switch very efficiently, so if I’m focused on observing the circumstances of my surroundings, I’m doing that and only that. I do one thing at a time and only one thing. I can’t effectively examine and engage — that’s two things!

I suppose I must learn to appreciate the intrusions. After-all, no one likes to be invisible all of the time — not even me. And here’s life trying to include me in the fun but I’m too untrusting of its intentions. “No! You’re just trying to scare me, or hurt me, or make me look like an idiot!” Or I feel as though I’m not good enough to keep up. “No, I’m too awkward at that, you guys go ahead….”

Hmm those definitely sound like lame excuses. If life really wanted to hurt me, things could be a lot worse — and there’s really no place to hide. And not-trying tends to receive harsher judgement than trying-and-failing. I guess I shouldn’t be so suspicious and close-minded when it comes to life’s little stimuli.

I suppose life is like a big party with a generous host trying to make sure everyone’s entertained. And periodically throughout the evening there’ll be party games where everyone’s expected to join in. I should try to be a gracious and appreciative guest rather than a grump that feels victimized for being invited. I should lower my guard and resign myself to having fun. Yay…!?

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